• Costa Rica Real Estate

Waze partners with San José to improve city traffic

October 2, 2014

Traffic is notoriously bad in Costa Rica’s capital, San José, but the navigation app Waze thinks it has a solution for the city’s traffic woes.

On Wednesday evening, the real-time traffic and maps mobile app Waze announced in New York it would partner with eight cities around the world, including San José, as part of its Connected Citizens Program. Rio de Janeiro, Barcelona, Jakarta, Tel Aviv, Boston, Salt Lake City and Los Angeles also were named along with the U.S. state of Florida and the New York Police Department. As part of the announcement, Waze released time-lapse videos of traffic in San José and other participating cities (see above).

The new program has been up and running since 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, where the Centro de Operações (COR) uses crowdsourced information from Waze users to manage city traffic and respond to accidents or emergencies. COR’s NASA-like control center might be a bit much to hope for in Costa Rica, but based on Rio’s experience with the API, developers think the information will improve public response time and keep drivers alerted to road conditions.

Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MOPT) Vice Minister Sebastián Urbina confirmed the agreement in a Facebook post Thursday afternoon. MOPT’s statement said that Costa Rica was selected because the coffee-producing country is one of the five countries in Latin America that most uses the app. Urbina said that Waze data reached authorities faster than emergency mechanisms like 9-1-1 calls.

The vice minister said that MOPT could start using Waze data as early as November. He added that the API would allow MOPT to give drivers warnings and alternate route when major events, like presidential visits or the Festival of Lights event in December, effect traffic flows.

Urbina said the information collected is anonymous and there is no cost to MOPT or Waze users for the service. The Tico Times requested additional information from Waze about how and what information is shared with the ministry.

Waze, which Google purchased in 2013, is a free app for iOS,  Android and Windows Phone.

Check out the video below explaining how Waze worked with Rio de Janeiro to improve traffic and municipal response time to accidents and other emergencies.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

The US asks Central America for cooperation against irregular immigration
Costa Rica
6 views
Costa Rica
6 views

The US asks Central America for cooperation against irregular immigration

Juan José Rodríguez / AFP - August 22, 2019

The acting Homeland Security secretary of the United States, Kevin McAleenan, called for cooperation from Central American countries and Colombia…

TBT: An old Costa Rican coffee plantation
Throwback Thursday
63 views
Throwback Thursday
63 views

TBT: An old Costa Rican coffee plantation

Alejandro Zúñiga - August 22, 2019

This early 1900s photo shows a coffee plantation in Costa Rica. The photo was published as part of a 1914…

Authorities seize nearly a ton of marijuana, 100 kg of cocaine
Costa Rica
42 views
Costa Rica
42 views

Authorities seize nearly a ton of marijuana, 100 kg of cocaine

Alejandro Zúñiga - August 21, 2019

Costa Rican authorities confirmed Tuesday that they had seized nearly a metric ton of marijuana and arrested a foreigner near…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!